The clay workshop offered at Lewis University is taught by Leslie Colonna; the workshop is open to all majors. The workshop is a 1 credit class and takes place on Fridays and Saturdays. Due to Covid- 19, the workshop has to be taught on zoom for everyone's safety.
The class gets a packet that includes clay, tools. The students are able to pick them up and work from home. When the class finishes the work they are able to drop off the work at the Fine Arts building. Leslie “fires the work in the kelm, which is pretty much baking it”, which allows the clay to be paintable.
Leslie showed multiple techniques to the students. She showed how to make pinch figures, pinch pots, and slabs; they used those techniques to create any piece out of clay. When students were having technical issues, Leslie would record sessions and upload the recordings to Blackboard.
While working on zoom may not be easy, Leslie made working on projects straightforward. Students “tilted their cameras down, to be able to see them work. They were able to work in their own space at their speed”. Students shared their work with each other and were able to feel more comfortable. The students just tilted their camera and did not have to fully show their faces.
There are limitations to having class online. Students don’t have the opportunity to have all the material they would usually have in the studio. While working during class, the students had the opportunity to interact with each other without awkwardly interrupting each other. When the final piece is done, “students would usually have a small presentation, and all students would show off their work”.
Being online does have some benefits; Leslie is able to “to teach more students, as long as she has enough materials’. Leslie plans on still having online workshops after the pandemic; it is a more accessible way for students.